“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” - Helen Keller
Life in general
I’ve always been one that loves quotes, so as I start this next blog I wanted to start with the beautiful quote by Helen Keller because my life in general feels like the epicenter of her quote, especially this last month. I can’t really believe more than another month has gone by for me here in Uganda. It has been a compacted month truly full of adventure, good and bad. I’ve continued my work, both with medical care and education, in the villages I’ve been working in since moving here. I've made new friends from London who are by far some of the most amazing, genuine god loving people and I cannot wait to see them again. Diana, this amazing gal I get to call friend and family officially moved here for 6 months as well, which makes this gal SO EXCITED!!! She brought me a luggage full of gifts from my sister Naomii and my aunt Dorina. I can't thank them enough for all the little things from home that I wanted like a vacuum cleaner and Fantastik with Bleach (this made me so happy guys, like really, lol)! I also have to thank Taby my cousin for spreading the word and having a girls night to help raise funds for the projects out here. SO THANKFUL and truly blessed by it all! I've gotten sick multiple times, but this last week was pretty bad where I thought it was malaria. I went to the hospital to have blood work done, and though my experience in a Ugandan hospital was not pleasant at all, thank God it just turned out to be a nasty virus. Through it all I had this amazing woman named Agnes keep me at her house and help me get through the fever, aches and pains of this virus. She truly is like a mother for me, and of course when I told her that we both just cried and then she prayed healing over me. Truly a gift of a woman! I'm still getting over the infection part, but am healing and on the mend. I've lost electricity way more than I even want to count, and my water has been on short supply as well... BUT, I'm keeping strong, learning that I can't leave something dirty, or an uncharged battery because I don't have the guarantee that it'll be there in five minutes let alone "later"! I've traveled to the capital quite a bit again. Its hard finding just about anything here in Kabale, so the only way I can resolve problems or buy bigger quantities of things I need is to take the longggggg trip to the capital. But, I can't complain too much because it's always a "fresh breath of air" and I put that in quotes because its really not fresh air at all. It's actually really congested and polluted air, but the sun is stronger in the capital, so that makes me happy! Ok, so a lil confession too.., they have a movie theater in the capital, and I sneak there sometimes to just disconnect and feel a little piece of civilization and home. Don't judge me, seriously, I needed to see Boss Baby, LOL! ;))
In the Batwa village we provided medical care for four days. The environment is rough people, seriously. We didn't really have water because it hadn't rained, so no shower for us for those four days. I'm telling you, when you provide medical care in 80+ degree weather, scorching sun beating on you for hours, black dirt and dust blowing in your face and over all of the medical table, it is not simple, easy nor fun. But thank God, the team of missionaries from London we joined were so amazing and so much fun. Regardless of our circumstances everyone was in such great spirits, laughing and doing all that was necessary to make sure the people in the village felt loved and cared for. From feeding everyone, to teaching the children songs and games and so much more, this beautiful team never stopped. I told them and still do, that it's so amazing to see people truly come out here to Uganda and love unconditionally. So so blessed I had the chance to team up with them and provide medical care to this village. Isaiah, Ioana, Ana, Damaris, Alina, Lori, Sergiu, Andrei, Sami, and Octavian you're all amazing and I can't wait to either have you back in Uganda or visit you all in London! Thank you for all the games, food, laughter and most of love God's unconditional love! I've treated hundreds of patients in my time in Uganda, especially wound care; but the first day in this village I had one of the worst cases of infection in this little boy named Isaiah's knee. I had to use a needle, after putting it through fire and hydrogen peroxide, to penetrate the infected cyst and drain it. I've never had my heart hurt so much as it did for this little boy. I didn't have any numbing cream or instant pain meds I could give him, so I had to do it while he could feel everything. When I tried to penetrate the first time, he hit my hand, but I hadn't realized till then how thick his skin was. I felt like I was poking the needle through a thick leather belt. When I finally got two holes in the cyst and the draining started, I finally felt like I could breathe again. This little boy would've lost his leg because of the amount of infection he had. I had drained it for four days, 4-6 times per day, and when I left it was still draining a bit of infection. It's heartbreaking to know that these children will not receive medical care because of the poverty they live in. They can't afford to go to a clinic, if there's even a medical clinic around. When all you need is someone to go out to these villages and treat them, and literally save their lives, it makes you think about the simplicity yet complexity of it all. I truly would go through all the cold nights, no showers, getting sick and so much more to know that someone's life and simple happiness can be attained and saved. I had some children come with the smallest wounds sometimes, just to have someone love and care for them. When was the last time you wanted to receive medical care, just to feel loved and cared for?? I highly doubt you even thought of such a thing. Remember to be thankful for your health and 1st world circumstances, because whether you thank God for it on a daily basis or not, you're fortunate and blessed.
The children in this village have been such a joy thus far. I can truly say I love them genuinely, and it cracks me up how they giggle when I tell them that, LOL. Since starting the medical and full meal feeding here on Saturdays, the number of children has been increasing with each time we come. We’re just at about 100 kids now that we feed, and treat medically. As with any impoverished area, treating medically is difficult because no one is clean, and for the most part the wounds are extreme. But I’m thankful for wet wipes/baby wipes, and rubbing alcohol because with these I can manage to treat and help them actually heal.
Two weekends ago we had so much fun letting the children bop for lollipops. As you can see they had a blast as they’ve never done it this way before. With everything we do, we try to show them the simple love of Christ. We teach them songs, and bible lessons as well. Most times they're so excited, they want to thank us by singing songs for us too. It's interesting to see how eager they are to learn. Majority of the children don't understand English, so everything is translated. Lack of education is such a norm that it's heartbreaking when you see how hungry they are to learn. So, if you're thinking this is something you can help with, come out to Uganda! :)
Rubuguri is a village I first started going to back in 2012. It has been years of seeing these people grow and progress and I tell you it's beautiful to see growth spiritually, socially, and economically. I've had the chance to work alongside missionaries already here locally on the ground. Whether I'm teaching the adolescents a bible lesson. helping provide food to feed hundreds of children, or buying skirts and blouses for the women, the love I have for this village is pure and genuine. There's nothing more fulfilling than looking back on what you invest in and knowing that it was people and they've changed for the better.
As you can see so much has been happening here in Uganda. There are days when I have to remind myself that I can't save everyone and that I can't take everyone's burden. Though its a daily battle, I strive to end each day knowing I did all I could to help someone. I love life, regardless of the circumstances I find myself in sometimes. Regardless of the difficult people or situations, I'm doing all I can to hold on to grace, the one gift given among so many, that reminds me daily why I'm here in Africa.
Thank you to each of you that take the time to read my blogs, that message me, that send me tokens of love and gifts, that encourage me even though thousands of miles separate us... you'll never really know the aspect of happiness it brings me and the joy it brings to my heart! I'll leave you with this unique animal that I saw about a week ago. I was excited and terrified of it honestly.. I mean it's just odd, LOL.